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Dangerous drive ends in conviction

A repeat offender has been convicted of dangerous driving after fleeing police and speeding across the region before smashing through a fence and doing burnouts in a paddock.

Bobby-Joe Kahle, a 40-year-old forestry worker with several prior convictions, appeared in Masterton District Court on Friday, and was convicted on charges of dangerous driving, wilful damage, and failing to stop for police.

Judge Jan Kelly disqualified him from driving for a year and sentenced him to nine months of supervision, as well as 40 hours of community work.

Kahle was pulled over by the police while driving in Masterton shortly after midnight on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

He refused to roll down his windows for the police and sped off after they activated their red and blue lights.

Soon after, Kahle was clocked travelling at 133kmh on the wrong side of the road.

Half an hour later, police spotted him in Martinborough where – upon being seen – he turned off his headlights and sped off, crossing the centreline again while going around a blind corner.

An hour later, Kahle was spotted in Greytown, where he drove into a paddock after ploughing through a wooden fence and then a wire fence, damaging both.

For several minutes Kahle performed doughnuts in the paddock.

Police requested him to stop but, instead, he drove through another fence.

He was finally apprehended after his vehicle got stuck.

Reading from the paddock owner’s victim impact statement, Judge Jan Kelly said that the victim suffered a financial cost from having to repair the fence and from not being able to use the paddock.

“He very generously is not seeking reparation from you; he wants you to get the help you need to prevent it from happening again,” she said.

Judge Kelly said that Kahle’s offending happened at an unstable time in his life while he was suffering from mental health problems.

“Your current and past use of cannabis is problematic; when you take your medication, you get better, but when you stop and use cannabis, you have periods of quite serious unwellness and instability,” she said.

He was previously convicted for wilful damage in 2022, and went to prison for breaking into a Masterton house and stealing a 42-inch TV in 2015.

Kelly said his previous convictions were of concern but noted that he was working hard at several jobs and would be significantly affected by losing his license.

Kahle was ordered to attend a drug and alcohol programme as a condition of his nine months supervision period.

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